harm

noun
\ˈhärm \

Definition of harm 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : physical or mental damage : injury the amount of harm sustained by the boat during the storm

2 : mischief, hurt I meant you no harm.

harm

verb
harmed; harming; harms

Definition of harm (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to damage or injure physically or mentally : to cause harm (see harm entry 1) to No animals were harmed in the making of the film. the national interest … was gravely harmed by this attack— Elmer Davis

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Other Words from harm

Verb

harmer noun

Choose the Right Synonym for harm

Verb

injure, harm, hurt, damage, impair, mar mean to affect injuriously. injure implies the inflicting of anything detrimental to one's looks, comfort, health, or success. badly injured in an accident harm often stresses the inflicting of pain, suffering, or loss. careful not to harm the animals hurt implies inflicting a wound to the body or to the feelings. hurt by their callous remarks damage suggests injury that lowers value or impairs usefulness. a table damaged in shipping impair suggests a making less complete or efficient by deterioration or diminution. years of smoking had impaired his health mar applies to injury that spoils perfection (as of a surface) or causes disfigurement. the text is marred by many typos

Noun

harm, injury, and damage mean an act that causes loss or pain. harm can be used of anything that causes suffering or loss. The frost did great harm to the crops. injury is likely to be used of something that has as a result the loss of health or success. She suffered an injury to the eyes. damage stresses the idea of loss (as of value or fitness). The fire caused much damage to the furniture.

Examples of harm in a Sentence

Noun

They threatened him with bodily harm. The scandal has done irreparable harm to his reputation. She'll do anything to protect her children from harm. They have suffered serious physical harm. These new regulations could cause lasting harm to small businesses.

Verb

He would never intentionally harm his children. chemicals that could harm the environment The scandal has seriously harmed his reputation.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

But any time someone deliberately hurts herself is classified as self-harm. Fiza Pirani, ajc, "Nearly 1 in 4 teen girls in the US self-harm, massive high school survey finds," 12 July 2018 In the Bay Area, naloxone is generally more accessible than in other parts of the state because many harm reduction organizations and addiction treatment centers have long operated under a standing prescription for naloxone from a local physician. Catherine Ho, SFChronicle.com, "More California pharmacies to distribute opioid overdose drug," 6 July 2018 Your best bet is to spend the next week focused on harm reduction. Blair Braverman, Outside Online, "How to Plan an Outdoor Wedding (and Not Hate Everyone)," 5 July 2018 Shirley Manson opened up about her history of self-harm and cutting in an op-ed for The New York Times, published on Tuesday (July 3). Katherine Schaffstall, Billboard, "Shirley Manson Opens Up About History With Cutting and Self-Harm," 3 July 2018 The anti-anxiety medication Xanax is to many of today’s rappers what Patrón was to rappers a decade ago, and self-harm is referenced routinely. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "What Linkin Park Gave to Pop Music," 25 June 2018 According to reports, Locklear's mother called 911, claiming that Locklear was acting erratically and threatening self harm. Rebecca Rubin, chicagotribune.com, "Heather Locklear arrested, charged with assaulting officer," 25 June 2018 Anyone considering self-harm or knows someone who might should call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Perry Vandell, azcentral, "Autopsy: NAU student died by suicide, struggled with depression," 21 June 2018 The children’s symptoms often differed, from nightmares to aggression to self-harm, but the pain evident on the children’s faces, and in their questions to me, was the same each time. Dylan Gee, Vox, "I study kids who were separated from their parents. The trauma could change their brains forever.," 20 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

There are concerns Kavanaugh at the Supreme Court could further harm the bureau’s mission and perhaps undo it altogether. Emily Stewart, Vox, "Consumer advocacy groups are extremely worried about Brett Kavanaugh," 11 July 2018 Tourists swim, canoe and take cruises in the gorge among freshwater crocodiles, a different species that are small, timid and rarely harm humans. Rod Mcguirk, The Seattle Times, "Australian rangers trap big crocodile near tourist gorge," 10 July 2018 The tariffs that the United States and China slapped on each other’s exports Friday intensified a trade battle that has a strong risk of roiling financial markets, chilling consumer confidence and seriously harming the global economy. Don Lee, latimes.com, "U.S. and China slap big tariffs on each other, escalating trade fight," 6 July 2018 But a study in 2017 by the OECD estimated that 10% of patients are harmed at some point during their stay in hospital. The Economist, "Hospitals are learning from industry how to cut medical errors," 28 June 2018 That means those residents who might find the promise of more referenda alluring also could wind up the most harmed by its consequences. Brian Chasnoff, San Antonio Express-News, "Mayor trying to rope in council to oppose amendments," 28 June 2018 Below, shop 11 straws that won’t harm the environment. Alice Bell, Vogue, "11 Stylish, Sustainable Straws to Help You Cut Down on Single-Use Plastic," 13 July 2018 The president also blamed the special counsel’s probe into Russian meddling for harming U.S.-Russian relations. John Fritze, USA TODAY, "Russian indictments come days before Trump's first summit with Putin," 13 July 2018 Republicans accused Strzok and the FBI of pursuing politically motivated probes aimed at harming President Trump. BostonGlobe.com, "FBI agent Strzok feuds with GOP critics at hearing," 13 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'harm.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of harm

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for harm

Noun

Middle English, from Old English hearm; akin to Old High German harm injury, Old Church Slavonic sramŭ shame

Verb

see harm entry 1

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Learn More about harm

Dictionary Entries near harm

harlot

harlotry

harls

harm

harm's way

harman

harmattan

Statistics for harm

Last Updated

8 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for harm

The first known use of harm was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for harm

harm

noun

English Language Learners Definition of harm

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: physical or mental damage or injury : something that causes someone or something to be hurt, broken, made less valuable or successful, etc.

harm

verb

English Language Learners Definition of harm (Entry 2 of 2)

: to cause hurt, injury, or damage to (someone or something) : to cause harm to (someone or something)

harm

noun
\ˈhärm \

Kids Definition of harm

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: physical or mental damage : injury The storm did little harm to the sheltered beach.

harm

verb
harmed; harming

Kids Definition of harm (Entry 2 of 2)

: to cause hurt, injury, or damage to Too much sun can harm your skin.

harm

noun

Legal Definition of harm 

: loss of or damage to a person's right, property, or physical or mental well-being : injury

Other Words from harm

harm transitive verb

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Comments on harm

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